Flash is a prime example of how the web isn’t just the new place to tell stories, it also allows new ways of telling stories.

The audio slideshow combines two very old mediums for a new one. This new medium combines the poignancy of a captured moment from still photography with the sensory addition of audio. Sounds can take us places that words cannot and pictures can say something in a moment that would take thousands of words to say. Pictures also bring the viewer closer to making their own firsthand judgments of a situation or moment. They can see the moment and decide for themselves how it looked and what that means to them.

This brings another benefit of flash journalism to the forefront and that is interactivity. There are a number of elements to interactivity and they are mostly unique to the web. First Flash can be used to allow the viewer control. No longer is the viewer restricted to a linear format presented by video editors. Now the view can control pace, order, even repetition.

Despite these advantages of Flash, it should be used with caution. Flash shouldn’t be used simply because it is available. It should earn its space. Sometimes a simple text story maybe the most effective way to tell a story. The use of flash should always be evaluated for what it can add to a story, what it can do that other mediums can’t. Some users computers may not be able to run flash, and others may have limited bandwith, so its not always the best way to go.

Night Ride

December 5, 2008

This is my final digital arts project. It was shot entirely with my cell phone on ride home after class one night. I put it together in Final Cut Pro. My cell phone only shoots 30 second clips and the footage is really grainy. Rather than have it be all pixelated when we project it in class, I decided to do a lot of layering and keep the frames of the clips smaller. I have various views fade in and out on different parts of the screen. They are mostly but not all transparent so you can see layers of footage where they overlap. Since my senses aren’t confined to the lense of my cell phone, I didn’t want to confine the project to one view at a time.

I am very happy with the final project. I had a little glitch saving and reopening it and consequently the ending isn’t as smooth as I would like, but it is sufficient.

I got lucky when I found the clip of the music for the VW Night Drive commercial. It fit the feeling I was trying to capture completely and it was the same length as the footage I had already put together. Yay. I pulled the clip off of YouTube and converted it straight into an mp3 file and layed it directly into my video, the easiest part of the whole project. The piece wouldn’t be the same without it either.


For those of you who know the origins of Special Ed (my bicycle), I own Special Ed thanks as he was the starring role in my little film here. He got new tires the other day, and they look good don’t they.

Chap 3 Reflection

December 5, 2008

Reflection on Chapter 3 in “Digital Art”

The chapter reviews themes addressed by digital art, which include:
Artificial life and intelligence
Telepresence and telerobotics
Database aesthetics, mapping, and data visualization
Net activism and tactical media
Gaming and narrative hyper media environments

These are themes that are emphasized in digital art. They may be addressed in other mediums and digital art also deals with more traditional themes.

Much of digital art explores life by trying to replicate its characteristics. Such as Karl Sims’ installation Galapagos. He



This is a response to Chapter 2 in Digital Art by Christiane Paul:

“The employment of digital technologies as an artistic medium implies that the work exclusively uses the digital platform from production to presentation, and the it exhibits and explores that platform’s possibilities.”

I find the latter part of this definition to be the most interesting. What sort of works explore the possibilities of the digital medium?

In class we talked about how ceramacists are still exploring the possibilities of their medium. Ceramics have been around for at least 5,000 years so if there are still possibilities to explore with it, there must be a universe left to explore with digital art!

One way the possibilities keep changing is through cultural changes. We looked at a video in class that was “video art” by one of the pioneers of the genre. It was of a guy standing in front of a class giving a lecture. There was a mirror behind him. By today’s standards it was boring. But it was done in the 70’s when video was new and apparently it was a big deal then. Hey I was alive in the 70’s and I still don’t understand what was interesting about it then–but times change fast don’t they.

The digital world has a whole new meaning now. We have the Web and we have Web 2.0 (facebook, flicker, blogs,etc). It’s not just a medium anymore it is an entire existence, a way of life, literally a virtual world. So the possibilities for exploring it are limitless.

The digital art world has a unique opportunity to use this medium for critique of the medium. I don’t mean to use the work critique to say a tearing down, but instead as an exploration of the parameters of the medium. Digital art can point out what the medium can and can’t do, what it can express. Through digital art it is possible to explore the actual being of digitalness.

Some examples of exploring digitalness through digital art: the guy who sold his “blackness” on ebay; a video we watched in class where a student put as many layers as he could into a vidoe file, even the early works of people doing performance art in remote locations connected digitally.

I would say that right now, I have utterly failed at exploring the limits of the medium, but then again I have no idea of what its limits are and it took me hours just to figure out how to embed a video without the youtube skin–which by the way I still can’t explain and I also don’t have all the quirks worked out of yet either.

For now the grip of a rivet or the shavings from a linoleum block, or even the rubbings of an eraser are more compelling for me. Actually that is not true. I find the digital work of others compelling, but I still don’t feel any connection to the digital medium myself.

When I went to the MoMA last year and I saw Jasper John’s map of the United States I was grabbed. I loved the layers and the texture and I immediately wanted to build something like that myself. I hadn’t seen his flags yet, but a few weeks later I woke up in the morning went and bought some paints and a canvas and made this: img_15194

I had never painted before. That is an accessible medium. Now I am learning how to be more complex with the direct arts. But digital just isn’t the same for me, I just don’t feel it the way that I have felt painting or printing or the other mediums I have explored so far. But I will keep trying, at least for a few more weeks.

Create a Webpage

November 15, 2008

For our last assignment I created a weblandscape. The idea is to create a webpage that has embedded links and creates a way to explore the internet. You can check it out here: http://clem.mscd.edu/~mberglu2

I spent a lot of time just trying to learn how to make a webpage and make it do what I wanted it to do. I learned how to do some interesting things: create animated gifs (my favorite), embed videos without the you tube skin and with looped playing, embed links, even arranging my site took some time to figure out.

The downside is I spent less time on the actual content of the site, so mine isn’t as strong or interesting as I would like it to be. Originally I wanted to have a theme of backyard and I wish I would have stayed with a theme. When I checked out my classmate’s websites, my favorites were the ones that had a strong theme. The one I like the best was a cowboys and indians theme by little gray hoodie. She has very compelling images and her links are immensely entertaining. Nice work. You can visit her site at http://clem.mscd.edu/~jdorran2

Hey there classmates,

My group was assigned to figure out how to embed a you tube video into our pages.  This is great, because then you can post your video to YouTube and have your website refer to the YouTube posting for your video.  It may be possible to have your video directly embedded in your site, but Matt isn’t sure if the MSCD server will let us put a video on the site.  Videos take up lots of space and YouTube has a special system for compressing the video files so they don’t take up too much space.  Pretty cool, and its free.

Embedding the video is very easy.  Get your webpage open in Dream weaver and have the dual view open so that you can see the html code.  Go to YouTube pick a video and next to it are two different boxes, one is for emailing the link to friends and the other is the code necessary to link to a website via html.  Copy that code and drop it into your webpage in the code view.  Upload to your server and go check it out.

There is a way to remove the YouTube border and make the video play automatically when anyone opens the page.  I am still figuring that out.  There is a guy from one of Matt’s other classes that was able to do both of these things.  His webpage is clem.mscd.edu/~tbrown79.  If you go to the page and go under the View menu and select Source code then you can mess around with his code and see if you can figure out what I haven’t quiet been able to do yet.

Good luck

It must have started when Sarah Palin told her joke about hockey Mom’s, lipstick, and pitbulls, because prior to that, lipstick wasn’t an issue in the election for president.  After that lipstick was the topic for awhile.  Now, lipstick has been eclipsed by the national economic crisis.  Ironically, these economic issues were there all along, but just weren’t as evident.  It is time for all of us to cut to the chase of what is important, regardless of whether we are Republicans or Democrats.  So let’s focus on the fundamentals economics, education, foreign relations, budget.  We don’t need to be deterred by lies, rumors, and distractions.

Would you like a copy of this image?  Please take one.  If you have a mac, just drag it onto your  desktop and print it.  If you have a PC copy it and paste it onto your desktop to print.  Spread the word and let’s focus on what is really important.

Margaret M. Berglund

Analyze this!

September 11, 2008

Assignment 3:  Analyze and ad.  

The number one purpose of an ad is to sell stuff.  I suppose there are a number of ways to do this.  Lately I see ads that I think are mostly about “branding,” or getting consumers familiar with their brand.  Above everything else, they want you to know their name.  No press is bad press.  But they may also be trying to convince you buy a specific product, or to undo a misconception, or simply to have you develop any conception at all.  Above all they want you to notice them.  Isn’t that what we all want?


This ad for American Spirit Cigarettes seems to be mostly about establishing a positive feeling about this brand of cigarettes.  This ad was in Utne Reader.  It is no accident that the most prominent aspect of the ad is the text “Natural Tastes Better.  100% Additive-free Natural Tobacco.”  It looks like an ad for free range chicken or Coleman Beef.  Everyone who reads Utne Reader know that anything that is “Natural” is good.


The large text is clearly in the foreground because the letters overlap the background, they have higher intensity colors, are very sharply focused, and are very large.  All of this draws my eye there first. 


The blue and yellow (which are lower intensity colors, to put them in the background) rays draw my eye downward toward the trees in on the hilltop and then to the cigarette package.  Note that the word cigarette is not featured anywhere in the ad, everyone knows that cigarettes are bad, so let’s not draw attention to it.  Likewise we are all familiar with the Surgeon General’s Warning and the white text below the cigarette package really stalls our gaze and we are naturally drawn back up to the top.  The big white boxes at the bottom are surprisingly easy to ignore. 


I think this ad focuses on the idea that your first impression is the most important.  Our first impression is of a natural product because of the way our eye moves through the piece.  Additionally, the color scheme is obviously upbeat, gone are the dark mysterious ads of the Marlboro man.  There is nothing to hide here.  The image is simple and its one that we have all been familiar with since we were old enough to draw rainbows.

So look out for those wiley ad agencies, they will sneak up and get you while you are looking at the pretty sunset.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.